Monday, July 29, 2013

Kane County Economic Update

Many less-populated counties have had difficulty settling into a pattern of steady job growth since the end of the recession. Kane County proved no exception to this rule. However, recently released figures for the first quarter of 2013 show Kane County taking the right steps towards full-fledged expansion. All three months showed job gains and February actually tiptoed into moderate-growth territory.

While not all of the county’s other economic indicators currently reside in the “black,” in general, the show a positive picture of the economy. Here’s a brief summary:
  • Kane County’s March 2013 year-over growth rate measured 2.3 percent and represented a gain of more than 60 positions.
  • Most major industrial sectors added employment over the past 12 months.
  • Leisure/hospitality services, the public sector and private education/health/social services contributed the highest number of new jobs.
  • The only job loss of note occurred in the volatile construction industry.
  • As in most Utah counties, Kane County continued to show lower levels of joblessness. In June 2013, the county’s unemployment rate measured 5.9 percent—down from 7.1 percent a year earlier.
  • While Kane County’s unemployment rate measures notably below the U.S. figure (7.6 percent) it registers notably higher than the Utah rate of 4.7 percent.
  • First-time claims for unemployment insurance have hit their typical summer low and show no signs of cyclical problems. So far in 2013, the seasonal leisure/hospitality industry has generated by far the highest number of initial claims.
  • While Kane County saw improvement in home-permitting during the 2012, the first quarter of 2013 proved slower. In fact, the number of new dwelling units approved dropped by 50 percent. However, there’s still plenty of time for improvement in this indicator as the year progresses.
  • Overall, Kane County permit-approved values are down by one-third for the first three months of 2013.
  • Gross taxable sales for the first quarter of 2013 surged ahead by 29 percent in Kane County. Only one quarter in the past two years has displayed a year-to-year loss.